Harry’s War by Ed Benjamin
Harry’s War is a well-written, insightful description of how our fighter pilot warriors think, and the challenges they face when they come back down to earth.
This SHORT fiction tale (15,000 words) deals with an epic air battle over Iraq between Iranian Air Force Su-27 Flanker aircraft and United States Air Force F-15C Eagles in the skies over Iraq.
The author has divided this book into three basic parts: first, the prelude to this spine-tingling fighter clash, second, the nail biting air battle itself and third, the aftermath.
These three parts constitute the war experienced by Harry Miles, ace fighter pilot. Which will prevail, the F-15C Eagle fighter or the Su-27 Flanker?
What is the real war?
Review by J. Viser:
As I turned off my Kindle, finished with Harry’s War, I couldn’t help but think about what our guardians in the sky must think and go through. Harry’s War is a well-written, insightful description of how our fighter pilot warriors think, and the challenges they face when they come back down to earth.
Benjamin writes for a living, so it is no surprise that Harry’s War is well-written. What is a surprise is how the story follows Harry through his evolution as a person, and I was heartened to see how the author transformed the notion of war from one meaning to another (I won’t give the game away here). I am guessing Benjamin has some first-hand experience with this, which made the story not only believable, but meaningful as well.
No book is perfect, right? I do wish Harry’s War had more dialogue, to make it more personal. I kept finding myself wondering what kind of person Harry was. Does he have a sense of humor? What is his his favorite drink? What kind of women is he attracted to? Of course, that would turn Benjamin’s novella into a novel, which would defeat the purpose of the format, and is why I didn’t reduce my rating to a 4-star. Bottom line, Harry’s War is a strong foundation for a more robust novel. I would like to see more from Benjamin and read about Harry up-close-and-personal!
With that minor criticism out of the way, where Benjamin excels is not just the descriptions of the military systems, hardware and weapons, that’s all very cool, but he does a masterful job in dissecting Harry’s psychology. He helps the reader understand what drives his main chracter, develops his strengths and weaknesses and analyzes how Harry’s background affected his trajectory in life and where he lands. This alone makes Harry’s War worth the read.
Another positive is that I don’t often read novellas, in fact, this was my first. I enjoyed the crisp format, and Benjamin makes the most of it. It took me just a few hours to read, but there is alot of information packed into this work (that’s a good thing).
Overall, an excellent work! Well done Benjamin!
Review by Sharon Colaizzi Smith:
The main character of Harry offers a realistic view of a fighter pilot hero and his battle with his own human significance. In other words, a real man.
The air fight between the Iranian Air Force Su-27 Flanker aircraft and the United States Air Force F-15C, spun me at times directly into the pilot’s seat. I was clutching the book as if I were controlling the plane! Benjamin’s talent for inserting you directly into this book is fascinating.
I highly recommend this book. Actually, I have already loaned it to a friend.